0-1, min. 90+3, Koscielny.
Burnley 0-1 Arsenal: Last gasp Koscielny goal hands Gunners three points

Burnley 0-1 Arsenal: Last gasp Koscielny goal hands Gunners three points

Arsenal left it right to the end to grab all three points against a spirited Burnley side at Turf Moor as the visitors won 1-0.

Matt Dawson
BurnleyHeaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Marney, Defour (Arfield, min.62), Boyd, Hendrick, Gudmundsson, Vokes.
ArsenalCech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka(Elneny, min.71), Cazorla, Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi(Oxlade-Chamberlain, min.71), Sanchez.
REFEREECraig Pawson.

A last gasp controversial goal from Laurent Koscielny gave Arsenal a 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday afternoon as Arsene Wenger celebrated twenty years in charge of the club.

The Gunners were frustrating for large parts of the game but came away with a vital win after Manchester City dropped points earlier today. Burnley were exceptional at the back but it wasn't to be for them as they were denied incredibly late on. 

Arsenal grab late winner

Last week against Chelsea, and in midweek against Basel, Arsenal were absolutely exceptional. However Burnley offered a completely different proposition away from home as Wenger's men struggled for the majority of the game in what was a frustrating display. Despite that the visitors got their goal right at the death, deep into injury time.

Mesut Ozil took a short corner to Alexis Sanchez who then dinked the ball into Theo Walcott. His header went in the direction of the far post where Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looked to supply the finishing touches. However the ball bounced off the hands of Koscielny, quite controversially, and somehow the ball found its way into the back of the net.

It was a gutting way for Burnley to lose the game but it showed the strength of character from Arsenal this season, and their will to carry on right to the very end. 

Burnley resiliant

Massive credit has to go Burnley for the way they played. It may not have been pretty but it was extremely effective, at least until the 93rd minute of the game anyway. The Clarets came away with a fantastic victory over Liverpool earlier in the season, and were moments away from clinching a brilliant point against Arsenal too. 

They sat back for most of the game, as expected, but they were hugely resiliant and defensively solid. The likes of Michael Keane, who struck the crossbar with a chance in the second half, was absolutely outstanding beside Ben Mee in the centre of defence. Alongside Matt Lowton and Stephen Ward at full-back, they were able to remain tight and keep the threat of the likes of Sanchez and Walcott at bay.

It was almost a complete all round performance from the hosts though and they could easily have come away with all three points like Arsenal did if they'd taken their chances. Sam Vokes, isolated upfront against Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi, spurned what was probably the best chance of the game. He found space inside the area on his own in the first half but headed wide when he really should have hit the target.

Petr Cech then made a great save just after the hour mark to deny a header from Johann Berg Gudmundsson as the Czech stopper got down well to his right to push the ball away. 

Frustrating Arsenal

Arsenal's performance against Burnley this afternoon was in stark contrast to their last two displays where they dominated Chelsea and Basel. At Turf Moor the Gunners looked uninspired in what was a laboured performance. Nevertheless they found a way to win, and win ugly, something that always seemed to get mentioned when talking about when potential title challengers.

Burnley made it incredibly difficult for the Arsenal players to find space between the lines, but it was the speed at which the visitors played which was the main concern. The quick free-flowing crisp style of passing Arsenal played was world class last weekend and in midweek but this game it was the opposite. The ball wasn't being moved about quick enough and ultimately they struggled to create chances. 

The Burnley defence were a wall that Arsenal couldn't break through | Photo: Getty
The Burnley defence were a wall that Arsenal struggled to break through | Photo: Getty

They got in promising areas but then failed to do anything with the ball and lost possession too easily. Ozil was particularly guilty of that, as he was poor by his standards. Meanwhile Alex Iwobi wasn't able to show his effectiveness at all, as he miscued a shot which went out for a throw-which rather summed up the game.  

Sanchez looked like the most likely to score, as he had a shot saved well by Tom Heaton just after the break and then an effort that went inches wide of the post after a brilliant volley inside the area. The Chilean was Wenger's only striker available though as he was limited with options off the bench, as Olivier Giroud and Lucas Perez both missed out through injury.

It perhaps would have been a game more suited to Giroud's style of play, where Arsenal could have got more balls into the box. Ultimately it was a ball into the area that opened the scoring, but it was as far from a convincing performance as you could get.  

Arsenal may have cured their inability to win in the big games, but it's matches like these ones that in the past couple of seasons they've struggled to win, and it's really becoming an issue. 

After that game, the Gunners have closed the gap to just two points at the top of the table with Man City as they sit in third on 16 points. Burnley meanwhile sit in 14th place with seven points.